â€œYou could spend experience points on dodgeâ€¦which meant that you were actively practicing getting out of the way of stuff.Â Is there a special place you go to hang out and dodge?Â A gun range, maybe?â€
I almost spit my coffee all over my keyboard from laughing when I read this comment from White Wolf writer and game developer Justin Achilli concerning his never humble opinion regarding skills in World of Darkness games.Â I asked myself â€œHow the heck did I miss this?â€Â Then I realized how I missed it.Â I, like most folks, have a full time job, family, friends, and obligations that prevent me from surfing the internet for twelve hours a day to read all of the amazing roleplaying game blogs out there.Â What I really needs is for someone to go read all of these blogs for me, and just forward me the really cool stuff.
Enter Jonathan Jacobs, with volume two of his Open Game Table:Â The Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs.Â Open Game Table is exactly what the busy gamer needs, a collection of the best of the best available online.Â Like the original Open Game Table, most of Volume Twoâ€™s content is written from a d20 game mechanic perspective, though many of the ideas found inside the book easily translate across systems.Â Even if you have never played a d20 style game, you can relate to the (much deserved) demise of a certain overpowered and overconfident barbarian in Trent Colwellâ€™s A Tale of Jacques:Â A Study in the Ignominious RPG Death.
Of particular note is an abbreviated reprinting of a wonderful interview with the late Dave Arneson that first appeared in Kobold Quarterly.Â Arneson chats about Blackmoor, the early days of TSR, and game design in general.Â There is also a great interview with GUMSHOE designer Robin D. Laws that gives gamers an insiderâ€™s look at what went into rewriting the rules for investigative roleplaying.
Â Besides these interviews with gaming icons, you will also find a wealth of advice on campaign design and planning, a discussion of 4E skill challenges and tips on map making.Â And that is just getting warmed up.Â The only thing missing is a proper article on the wonders of kobolds.Â Though to be fair, there is an extensive article featuring an evil gnome for 4E, and we all know kobolds and gnomes canâ€™t co-exist peacefully.Â So that might explain the issue.Â Maybe in volume threeâ€¦
Â Reviewer's Note:Â Publisher provided a review copy to the review